When is the right time to leave

In 2003 people were discussing this (When's the right time to leave Taiwan?), and I’m curious 18 years later do the reasons changed or are still the same?

I’m in my late twenties, I’ve been here for over 4 years, got my masters, my Chinese is decent and it’s 50/50 for me. There are pros (food, culture, hiking and etc.) and cons (relationships, friendships, work environment and etc.) . I think I’ve been postponing this talk with myself due to covid so I would be interested to hear from people who left, who left and came back, or from those who just thinking about the move and kind of stuck.

stay safe everyone.


In your case, and at your age, it would help to have something to move to, not simply move away from. Where would you go, what kind of opportunities would you be looking for? If you can figure this out, you’ve got a plan.



In my experiemce, years 3-4 are the breaking point for either leaving or for staying here a decade or in my case a few.
Curious about Cons. Why friendships and relationships?


I would say: you know when you know. Or: when you find yourself asking yourself if you should stay or leave.


I think generally speaking, the only people who say they plan to stay forever are the ones who haven’t been here long enough to know they don’t want to stay anymore. It will soon be seven years since I first left the UK and came to Taiwan. Since leaving I have achieved a lot, and if I had a good job opportunity back in the UK I would consider taking my wife and daughter back. The problem is, it’s hard to find someone who will give you a job offer whilst you are still abroad, so if I moved back I’d likely have to do without a job lined up, which is a huge risk.


I don’t think I will leave for a while.

I have a better standard of living here than I would in the UK. My job doesn’t pay as much as I would earn for doing similar work in the UK, but it is much more relaxed and easier than a similar job in the UK, which balances it out—I pretty much coast through it each day. The pay is also decent for Taiwan being well above the minimum wage here and even well above the “mean” average wage, so I can live comfortably.

I also like living in a big city that has the positives of a big city while not having many of the issues of a big city (such as high crime).

I don’t think there is a “right” time to leave, other than when you get fed up of living here and think you’ll be happier back home. For me, that will probably be later in life (I’m 30 now) because I think the UK with its more of a social/welfare care and NHS and family member support would be better to be. For someone in my 30s, I think Taiwan is better to live.


I feel this but it’s not like I want to go back to the states either. I’m basically forcing myself to be an “adult” and stay for at least another year or two. I hate people constantly lying and touching my stuff. Plus having to pay insane amounts for vegan food when supposedly Taiwan is oh so vegan friendly. /rant :sob::sob::sob::sob:

ETA: I question if it will actually get better when I finish my degree or the same BS in public schools too?


Taiwanese touch your “stuff”? Had no idea this was a Taiwanese trait.


I never had another American move or touch my belongings. :woman_shrugging:

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They move your workplace belongings?

Or break into your apartment to move stuff around ?

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I have mentioned this on this forum a number of times. Unless you are an entrepreneur, lawyer, independently wealthy, trust funder, etc., I would think twice about remaining too long.

I come from an upper middle class background but still left by early 30s. If you’re a Brit, do you want to get onto the property ladder, build up credit, pay into the state pension, pay into a defined or defined contribution pension? Taiwan gave me amazing experiences for my 20s, but it is no country to grow old in unless you are making beaucoup dineros.


One thing that is different…China will definitely take over in your lifetime. I’ve been here since 2005 and while some things have improved (mostly infrastructure), the people are (mostly) still the same selfish remnants of a former dictatorship. I advise everyone to get out by 2024 :2cents:


Would help if we had more context about what you do in Taiwan and what country you’re considering leaving to. But, assuming you’re well qualified and that you’ve gained some relevant work experience in Taiwan, I think late-20s/early-30s is the best time to leave Taiwan.

I don’t know your circumstances, but let me share my experiences doing the same thing because it might be relevant.

I gained solid professional experience in Taiwan and some Chinese language skills (which look very impressive to employers back home, especially when you’re young). Because I had an unrelated educational background, I would have struggled to gain the kind of solid entry-level experience in that field back in London, which is highly competitive. By moving back to the UK while I was young but experienced in my early 30s, I was able to climb up the career ladder, get on the property ladder, and do many of the sensible things society expects of you when you’re in your 30s that Taiwan simply wouldn’t have allowed me to do. Because I only lived in Taiwan for four years and left before becoming bitter about the lack of prospects, poor pay, and other issues discussed on this forum ad nauseam, I still have a highly positive view of Taiwan and plan to go back using the Gold Card Visa programme when the global situation improves, meaning I’d be in a far superior position when I go back than I could have hoped to have been in if I’d stayed and tried working my way up within the system.




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Take over what?

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And why 2024?

I understand the predicament, however the risk can be mitigated by having some savings to tide you over and contacting with recruiters in advance. Go in planning for the worst case and it should work out fine.

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A bit early, but it definitely is a possibility we will see an invasion 2025-30. Still of course an unlikely outcome, but more likely than until now.

And you do not want to be in Taiwan if that happens.

Yes unfortunately that’s one of the features of being in this neighbourhood.

It sucks to have a belligerent neighbour doesn’t it.


A bit early, but it definitely is a possibility we will see an invasion 2025-30

That’s why I suggest 2024- best to be ahead of the turmoil. I don’t know if China will invade, but they are gong to change tactics after the next election. Winnie the Pooh has said he wants to see this in his tenure and he’s not getting any younger. If the KMT wins, that party will surely cave; if the DPP wins, China will start ramping up military and economic pressure. Either way, this is not going to be a pleasant place to live. People here live in a sort of mind fog where the inevitability of future Chinese control does not enter their minds. Whatever happens, I will be watching from a safe difference :popcorn: